Diabetes Research in Pediatrics? The International Society Has Your Back

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International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes Logo

The International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) is really cool! First of all, it’s an organization that aims to promote research, education, and advocacy in children, adolescents, and young adults with diabetes—across the globe. Second, they offer fellowships for research training, and two of them are co-funded by JDRF!

Now, it’s time to announce the awardees for one of them, the ISPAD-JDRF Research Fellowships, which provide $25,000 to people under the age of 40 who wish to pursue a career in diabetes related research.

Let’s meet them:

Vanessa Jewell, Ph.D., OTR/L, an associate professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, will evaluate a newly developed T1D assessment, Diabetes Health Management and Distress Scale—Parents of Young Children. It is the first known assessment to measure two areas: 1) diabetes management routines of parents caring for young children with diabetes; and 2) parent-specific diabetes distress, from an occupational therapy perspective.

Emilia Kowalczyk, M.D., Ph.D. (expected), a clinical fellow at the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, will test the hypothesis that “super bolus”—a combination of: 1) an increased dose of mealtime insulin, in order to quickly cover the high glycemic index carbs; and 2) a suspended non-mealtime insulin during the next 2-4 hours, in order to account for the increased levels of active insulin in circulation—is an effective strategy to prevent post-mealtime blood-sugar levels compared to the normal non-mealtime insulin.

Claudia Piona, M.D., Ph.D. (expected), is a pediatrician at the University Hospital of Verona and a Ph.D. student at the University of Verona. With the support of the ISPAD-JDRF Research Fellowship, Dr. Piona will evaluate the associations between early signs of diabetic complications, using metrics measuring short-term glycemic control, glucose variability, and oxidative stress, in children and youth with T1D. The study will advance the role of these factors leading to the development of diabetes complications in the pediatric population.

Rachel Wasserman, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and assistant research scientist at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, Florida, aims to engage adolescents with T1D via a private, online forum to provide suggestions and feedback for a new, T1D-focused risk-taking prevention intervention, and will work with stakeholder representatives to apply findings from the online forum to produce a novel T1D-relevant adolescent risk-taking intervention.

Please visit the ISPAD site to learn more about this fellowship and how to apply (the deadline is August 28).

Want to hear more about ISPAD? We’ll be writing a longer piece about the truly incredibly (not hyperbole) impact these grants have in the next few weeks!